Peaks & other Sulzers on the Holyhead mainline.
Peaks & other Sulzers on the Holyhead mainline.

When the Class 24's were transferred to the Stoke Division (D05) in 1966/67 the North Wales would become one of their regular haunts for the next decade, the Class 25's would continue on for a second decade over these lines, with some of the Class 25's making their last trips over parts of this route during March 1987.

Although the Class 47's would become very familiar over the North Wales mainline, their predecessors the Peaks were late to arrive on this route. During the 1970's they were occasional visitors as far west as Llandudno Junction, usually working an extension to a Trans Pennine service and with a Manchester based crew in charge of the locomotive. Towards the end of their careers the Peaks, particularly the Class 45/1's would work regular diagrams to the end of the line at Holyhead.

Llandudno Jct
The page featuring the Peaks on the Trans-Pennine services included several views of the locomotives reaching as far west as Llandudno Jct.

Although Peaks were regularly diagrammed for the Trans Pennine services, in the early years they sometimes came west on the 11.25 Newcastle - Llandudno, on August 5th 1967 D123 was in charge of this working, on August 12th 1967 it was the turn of D7677.

One of the last pictures on the page featuring the Trans-Pennine services showed this view : June 19th 1979 46045 worked the 07.47 Manchester Victoria - Bangor & 11.30am return and the 15.40 Manchester - Bangor & return. It also completed these turns on the 20th & 21st and is seen here on 20th at Llandudno Jct working the 11.30 ex Bangor.
Photograph courtesy Larry Goddard.
24073 & 24057 move empty coaching stock down the branch to Llandudno Town in the late afternoon of June 26th 1977. 24057 had survived the big purge in summer 1975, 24073 had been withdrawn but was later reinstated during February 1977 in anticipation of some inter-regional locomotive transfers. These moves were later cancelled but 24073 remained in service, now operating from Crewe. Both would survive in service until 1978. Photograph courtesy Larry Goddard.
Traction motors beware - 25130 & 25135 rock & roll across the junction that takes them from the North Wales main line onto the Llandudno Town branch. A damp looking day sometime in 1979. Photograph courtesy Larry Goddard.
Its March 1978 and a fine looking 24082 manouevres around Llandudno Jct shed. One of the last survivors of the Class 24's 24082 would survive until March 1979, ending its days at Doncaster Works a month later. Photograph courtesy Larry Goddard.
An engineering train of heavy track panels hauled by 25161 & 25254 approaches Llandudno Jct on July 16th 1983. Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
25083 and its engineering train approach Llandudno Jct on July 16th 1983. Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
A fine view of 45103 as it cruises past Deganwy, date unknown. 45103 would be one of the Peaks to remain in service to the very end, its final duty being a Bescot - Tinsley freight.
Photograph courtesy Larry Goddard.
25126 near Deganwy just before mid-day on June 2nd 1979.
Photograph courtesy A Forster.
Bangor
A snowy January 20th 1985 appears deceptive for 25306 and its train at Bangor. Just over a month later 25306 had been withdrawn.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
The overhead view reveals all is not well with the train, one of the track panel wagons has chosen to go its own way!
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
Having arrived from the east with a terminating service at Bangor on May 19th 1983, 45130 has run round its set of coaches and been parked in the sidings on the south side of the station. It will later reverse out and draw forward into the station in order to work the 17.10 to York.
Photographer not known.
25173 and its train load of ballast heads east through Bangor station on September 5th 1985. 25173 would survive in service to the very end of regular Class 25 operations and after a visit to Crewe Works would find a new lease of life in preservation.
Photographer not known.
The locomotive is believed to be that of 45143, in pristine condition because of its recent visit to Waterloo to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. This would date the view to the latter half of June 1985.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
Amlwch Branch

25245 (?) passes by Gaerwen with a freight train on September 14th 1980.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
A gloriously wet July 27th 1985 finds 25072 and an engineers train passing through Gaerwen, a short distance from the junction with the main line.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
25217 and a short train of Octel tanks, August 28th 1980
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
Valley
Kudos to the photographer for braving this foul looking August 11th 1985 to capture very wet 25282 & 25265 as they pass through Valley with a train load of wagons. One doesn't always need the sun to shine for the great shots - but it sure helps.
Photograph courtesy Pat Webb.
The 14.20 Sunday's only Holyhead - Euston passes Valley on April 1st 1984 with 45141 in charge.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
The next day 45141 returns to Holyhead with an ex-Euston service.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
45060 'Sherwood Forester' powers through Valley sometime during 1985.
Photograph courtesy Pat Webb.
Its June 2nd 1985 and an unidentified Peak is heading east with the 08.50 Holyhead - York at Valley.
Photograph courtesy Pat Webb.
Its July 4th 1986 and the ex Lawley Street Freightliner approaches Holyhead behind 45012. The locomotive has less than six weeks to withdrawal, luckily after a month out of service it was reinstated and ran almost to the very last workings of the class in July 1988.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
A pair of Class 25's and fifteen coaches pass through Valley.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
A service bound for Manchester accelerates away from Holyhead on April Fools Day 1984, with 45020 leaving quite a smokey exhaust trail. In the background sits Holyhead Mountain, 722 feet high.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
An unidentified Class 45 only has a short distance to run before reaching Holyhead.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
25043 near Holyhead with a Divisional Managers Sallon, sometime in the 1980's.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
25209 passenger, August 1985.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
An unidentified Class 25 pulls away from Holyhead with a Freightliner service sometime during 1980.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
Holyhead and its approaches

Until the 1980's diagramming changes that made the Peaks regular visitors to Holyhead, it was very, very rare to find them so far west.

On October 28th 1973 Class 46, 140 worked a Manchester Red Bank - Holyhead empty coaching stock working, the locomotive returning light engine to Newton Heath. On August 1st 1975 45073 worked a Leeds - Holyhead service and remarkably on August 16th 1978 46016 was sent light engine Crewe - Holyhead to cover the 13.00 Holyhead - Euston!

25094/165/304, 47241 & 40028 return from permanent way duties on a very damp, overcast on July 23rd 1978.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
Much nostalgia remains in this view of a Class 45/1 as it accelerates away from Holyhead. The steam shed, signal box and semaphore signalling all bear witness to a different era. Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
Similar to the above view another Class 45/1 leaves Holyhead, now with some considerable relaying to the Up line.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
25035 passes the depot on an unknown date. Photograph courtesy Pat Webb.
A hazy day at Holyhead finds 25231 shunting quite a variety of coaching stock. Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
A fine view of 25237 as it approaches Holyhead with a trainload of loaded bogie wagons. Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
24035 near Holyhead.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
The Freightliner terminal was adjacent to the passenger station. Normal power for the freightliners would have been a Class 40 or 47, but when they weren't available it was left to a Class 25 to do the job. 25268 sometime in 1980.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
Holyhead Shed
A hazy day during 1985 finds 45118 and an unidentified Class 25 standing by the fuelling point at Holyhead depot.
Photograph courtesy Pat Webb.
A familiar scene becomes history as 25265 sits on Holyhead shed on March 15th 1987, all remaining Class 25's had by this time been authorised for withdrawal. 25265 is the last Class 25 in regular service to visit Holyhead. Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
45037 rests inside the old steam shed at Holyhead during August 1985. 45037 would end its days with traction motor problems, some three years after this view was taken, and would prove to be one of the most active Peaks in those final few months.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
An unidentified Class 25 & 40 rest inside the depot, date unknown.
Photograph courtesy Steve Morris.
45124 & 45125 June 16th 1985.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
A damp day in 1970 finds 5145 sitting on the fuelling point. Photograph courtesy Pat Webb.
Holyhead shed as depicted in the above views was demolished late in 1989.

Fuzzy Memories

A Day Trip to Holyhead.

The opportunity to place these Sulzer views on this page eventually led to the slide archives being examined for any of my own Holyhead area views. Back in the days of my mispent youth Holyhead held little to cough up some hard earned dosh for a day trip to what?? Whatever was at Holyhead would eventually make its way to Crewe or Chester, with the exception of the Class 01 shunters on the breakwater line. So eventually a trip had to be made to get these two venerable machines underlined in the Locoshed & Combine.

I believe I may have made two trips to Holyhead for this purpose, one appears to be fruitless, I think both shunters were locked away, but the trip on September 15th 1977 proved a little more rewarding, despite the very overcast day!

A look at my notebook reveals some rather hectic travel in those glory days (for me anyway!). August 7th was a trip to Tinsley & Doncaster Works, August 20th was Eastleigh Works & Depot, then to the Isle of Wight, back to London and home to Derby with a very impressive piece of performance out of St Pancras by 45115. August 27th was Crewe Works, two days later it was back to Doncaster, September 3rd was a day excursion to Edinburgh, Toton coal machine 47364 doing the honours throughout. It was off to Toton on September 5th, Derby Works Open Day on September 10th and then Holyhead on 15th!

The trip from Derby to Crewe was obviously made in some fine Etches Park bog, onward from Crewe 47437 did the honours. By this time the Class 24's were in serious decline, only 24063/81/87/91 were seen this day. After the obligatory hike to the breakwater 01002 was found to be operating, whilst 01001 was in the shed. 47437 took us back to Crewe and then the EP bog onward to Derby.

Three delightfully overcast views of 01002 at the breakwater on September 15th 1977. Poor exposure by me and indifferent processing by Kodak have not helped, but this is all the memories I have now.....

Oops

25080 waits ahead of a derailed panel wagon on the approach to Holyhead, July 28th 1984.
Photograph courtesy Pat Webb.
25190 and a breakdown crane assist a derailed Class 47 which is just visible behind 25190; the derailment taking place at the entrance to the diesel depot.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
With the shed in the background and the station approaches in the centre, the foreground is filled with a derailed 25307, and its rescuer 47110 and the Chester breakdown crane, both also derailed!!. If you can't beat them, join them!
Photograph courtesy Pat Webb.
With the front of the Class 25 jacked up the locomotive can now be realigned with the rails, though the puzzled look of the gentleman by the jack makes one wonder! August 17th 1980.
Photograph courtesy Colin Webb.
With particular thanks to Larry Goddard and Steve Morris for making available some fine views of Sulzers big & small on the North Wales mainline.

Page added August 13th 2005.
Last updated March 30th 2008.

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